Noris & Co 2

IMG_1336A manly Noris

Well, I guess this is proof that the Noris is a very manly pencil, assuming that wood work is manly:

I saw this book in my local supermarket and spotted that the Noris is playing an important part.



A Hobonichi Tradition

Nice to see the Staedtler Tradition being featured in the latest Hobonichi video

You can see more at


A cineatic Noris

There also a cinema ad for the Noris, unfortunately it’s for the Noris Colour, not for the Noris graphite pencil



I also noticed that Monocle magazine, mentioned previously, has a penmanship supplement. Unfortunately there isn’t much there except a nice big photos showing a few pens, most of them expensive.


A Noris Print and Egg

Since we’ve been talking about the Noris, have a look at this Noris print from the Well -Appointed Desk

…or this Noris Easter Egg from Lexikaliker.


A graphite Pac-Man

…and for all fans of graph paper and classic video games: The original notebook sketches for Pac-Man.

The Scherzinger sharpener 3

Is this the coolest sharpener ever?


Scherzinger’s idea

I have recently been contacted by A. F. Scherzinger, an engineer from Massachusetts, who is about to launch a Kickstarter campaign in a few days. Even though his expertise is in the aerospace industry, at weekends he likes to tinker with all sorts of things in his shed and one day he had the brilliant idea that there’s no need for a hole in a pencil sharpener.

How is works

He explained to me that all the hole is doing is guiding the pencil, and that three points would be sufficient to do that. One of these points can be the blade itself, so all that is needed is two more points. After some trial and error he figured out that the best way of spacing these anchor points is to group them as if they form a circle, but to keep them 120° apart.

The material 

After some initial experiments with titanium, which turned out to be too springy to be of any use, he came up with the special alloy he is now using. I was lucky enough to have received an early sample and I have to say: this is great – take my money!!


Real life experience

The little struts are a but pointy, so I guess you better be careful when you carry this sharpener, but early Kickstarter backers will get a free neoprene carry case with their sharpener.

As his stretch goal he is planning to make a long point version – how cool is that‽

Pencil Pot Of The Month – March 2016


Description: A noodle pot

Price: <£2 (~<$2.90; <€2.50)

Material: Polypropylene

Further information: Comes with a free lunch/dinner, just like the Pencil Pot from October 2015.

Price and Exchange rate: March 2016

400 – behind the Scenes 12

Welcome to Bleistift’s 400th blog post.

As this is kind of an anniversary post I want to give you a quick behind the scenes look. The last post like this was 1½ years ago. It was the 5 years Bleistift – behind the scenes post.

Visitors (actually sessions) in the last year, by country.

Visitors (actually sessions) in the last year, by country. Can you see the smudging? That’s why I don’t like soft leads.


The countries where the visitors come from (measured by Google Analytics) has hardly changed. Spain is not as strong anymore, but Australia is much stronger now.

Last time I looked at visitors, this time I want to look at page views (measured by WordPress). Bleistift gets around 6,000 – 9,000 page views a month. I am not sure how many of these are real, as I get around 20 spam comments a day – so I wouldn’t be surprised if the number of pageviews be real humans is a lot less per month. I guess you can deduct 1,000 for spam bots etc.

Sites that send most visitors to Bleistift are in a similar order than what you have seen last time, but Lexikaliker is now the strongest site, followed by Pencil Revolution and The Pen Addict – with all three sites sending nearly the same number of visitors to Bleistift – the difference is ~5%.



How does this compare? Well I think it is safe to say that Bleistift is a tiny blog, based on the fact that in comparison the numbers are tiny and that Bleistift isn’t on the radar of many people in the stationery community, so you usually won’t find it on the list of pencil blogs, e.g. at The Well Appointed Desk, My Pencils Draw Worlds or on sites like Pennaquod.

The semi-professional blogs have huge numbers in comparison. Number 1 must be The Pen Addict, with over 1 million page views per month. Other geographically closer blogs from the UK, like Pens! Paper! Pencils! with more than 20 thousand page views per month are also several times Bleistift’s size.



Bleistift is an amateur blog, but nevertheless I am lucky enough to have received freebies for reviews in the past, mainly from The Pen Company, who have sent me four different mechanical pencils over the last years – in return for writing reviews of these pencils for their blog. They also gave me permission to post these reviews on my own blog as long as I use a special code in my post that will let search engines know that the review on their blog is the original and my blog post is the duplicate (This is common in Search Engine Optimisation). Well, keeping this in mind I have to say that value of the freebies I got (excluding swaps with friends) is even a bit higher than the cost of the web site1.


The past and the future

In my opinion the stationery blogging landscape has changed a lot since I started. My impression is that stationery blogs used to be more about presenting (objective) information. Today most blogs seem to be more about expressing individual (subjective) opinions without much reference to where the second hand information, that is being presented came from. Obviously the number of stationery blogs is huge, so every reader will sample a different subset of posts and will see different patterns emerge in what they read… Your experience might be quite different to my subjective experience.

In terms of Bleistift’s posts I have again noticed that short blog posts are much more popular than long blog posts, measured by the number of comments. I think the reason is that every one is busy and there’s not much time for reading, so ‘fast food’ is more welcome. Some of my more work intense blog posts2 got hardly any comments, but short blog posts seem to be much more popular, so I might focus on shorter blog posts in the future. I haven’t decided yet.


Top 5

Before I finish. Here’s the Top 5 of Bleistift’s most popular blog posts. These older blog posts get visited again and again.

  1. Atoma vs. M by Staples’ Arc (Twice as popular as number 2 in this list)
  2. Sharpeners (Actually a page, not a blog post)
  3. Deli pencil sharpener 0635 (My favourite sharpener)
  4. KUM Masterpiece (That’s a surprise, I didn’t spent much effort on this blog post)
  5. The Kuru Toga – a disappointment (Bleistift’s very first blog post)



Thanks for visiting Bleistift over the last 400 blog posts and hope to see you again (and again) for the next 400.



  1. This cost is the domain and a SSL certificate. I don’t include the web hosting itself as I had it since the 1990s, long before Bleistift. []
  2. like Pimp my Rotring rapid PRO 0.5Affordable pencils or Zebra DelGuard []

A refillable glass piston filler 3

Just a quick blog post about a Kickstarter that was funded last year: Winkpens.

(Image © Winkpens)

(Image © Winkpens)

It’s basically a piston filler, but instead of using a traditional nib it features a glass nib (think glass dip pen).

I have seen similar pens from the 1950s and earlier, but I assume these were fountain pens that have been modified to hold a glass nib, not pens built specifically for this purpose.

One of the advantages of this nib is that you can write or draw using many more liquids, not just ink – the founder covers this topic in their FAQs. Winkpens is using the example of writing using wine. I guess you will have less problems when writing with wine than when writing with wine based ink1. The idea of writing using alternative liquids reminds me of a recent blog post from Scribbler, looking at the use of ‘dirty water’ in broad edged or pointed pens.

My understanding is that the pens are already being manufactured and that they will ship in April. The Kickstarter is over, but they are now being offered on Crowd Supply.


I believe that the use of the image shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

  1. My wine ink from De Atramentis got very thick after a while, but luckily I got a free replacement. []